Help Page

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/f/lockdraw is a collaborative drawing application written in Flash that allows many people to edit a canvas, somewhat like a multiplayer MSPaint. It's based on the original Flockdraw, but adds a moderation system and some more advanced drawing tools. Unlike other such modifications of Flockdraw, it runs on a separate server.

This help page explains some of the many drawing tools and shortcuts of /f/lockdraw.


The main window of /f/lockdraw

The main window of /f/lockdraw is shown to the right.

The top of the window shows the room controls and status. On the right side, you can see a list of users and the chat box, as well as the tool selector. The bottom of the window shows all the drawing controls.

Login Dialog

The login dialog

The login dialog is the first thing that appears when you open /f/lockdraw. Other users will see the name you type here in the user list as well as next to your cursor when you are drawing. Note that names cannot include spaces (they will be changed to underscores "_") or certain unicode characters.

If you type a name that has been registered, you will be asked for the password in the next dialog. If the name is unregistered, you will go directly to the room selection dialog.

Room Selection Dialog

The room selection dialog

/f/lockdraw supports multiple drawing "rooms" at once. Each room has a separate drawing space, and it is possible to view multiple rooms at once with the same username by opening multiple copies of the application. The room selection dialog allows you to select which room you'd like to join.

On the left side of the window is a clickable list of rooms. The list also shows the number of users currently in each room. When you click a room in the list, it is selected (highlighted blue) and some information about it is shown on the right side of the dialog. The default room (called /f/lockdraw) is selected in this example, so you can see the room's description, who it was created by, the number of users in it, and whether it is muted. A small preview image that shows you what is being drawn in the room is also shown in the lower right.


When you are logged in with a name, it is possible to register that name with a password so that no one else can use it. To do this, click the "Register/Chg Pass" button in the room selection dialog. You will have to type your new password twice, and once you click Set your name will be registered with this password. Don't forget the password, since you'll need to type it every time you log in.

There are a few other benefits to registering besides protecting your chosen username. When registered, you can be promoted to a room mod in existing rooms, and will automatically be a room mod in rooms you create. This means you can change the room settings, use a larger cursor, and undo the changes of troublesome users.

Creating Rooms

Besides selecting a room from the list in the room selection dialog, you can also type a name manually into the text box in the lower left. This allows you to create a new room, at which point you will be asked to set the room's description (which appears when other users select it) and whether it should be private. Private rooms do not show up in the room list, and their names must be typed manually (with the exact same capitalization) to join them.


Just to the right of the drawing area is a vertical toolbar with pictures of various brush types. These brushes all draw in different ways, and can be used to achieve a variety of effects. Note that each tool also has a keyboard shortcut listed next to it (for example, the pencil tool is F3). The types of brush are listed below:

brush Brush

The brush tool is the default drawing tool selected when you open /f/lockdraw. It is similar to the brush tool in Photoshop in that it has adjustable alpha (transparency) and blur (softness).

airbrush Airbrush

The airbrush tool is similar to the brush tool, except it applies many times within a single stroke. This means that when you are drawing transparent (low alpha) lines, they will render as a series of short transparent line segments overlapping one another rather than a continuous transparent line.

pencil Pencil

The pencil tool is the same as the Brush tool except that it does not use the alpha or blur settings, and it does not have any anti-aliasing. This means that the edges of the strokes it makes are sharper and more pixelated. The pencil tool is useful for sharp fine lines and pixel art.

eraser Eraser

The eraser tool acts the same as the Brush tool but will always draw white lines. This is useful for quickly correcting mistakes when drawing against the default white background.

paintbucket Paintbucket

The paint bucket tool will fill an area that is a continuous solid color with another color of your choice. Note that to prevent abuse the paint bucket tool will not work on areas over a certain fraction of the canvas size.

line Line

The line tool allows you to draw a single line segment from one point to another by clicking and dragging. Please keep in mind that other users see your line as it is being positioned (while you're holding down the mouse button).

text Text

The text tool allows you to type text at your mouse cursor and click to add it to the canvas. The text tool should be used sparingly -- it's intended for filling in speech/thought bubbles and the such. For general communication with other users, use the chat window.

dropper Dropper

The dropper tool lets you click on any point in the drawing and load the color from that point as your current color. This is useful for picking up previous shades you've used after you've changed to another color.


The main controls

The lower portion of the /f/lockdraw window shows a number of controls that can be used to adjust your drawing tool. There are also ten "slots" for saved brushes and a control for zooming the canvas.


The sliders in the control area can be used to adjust your brush's size, color, blur (softness) and alpha (transparency), as well as to zoom the canvas.

Color Controls

  • R, G, B - these sliders change the Red, Green and Blue components of your color
  • H, S, V - these sliders change the Hue, Saturation and Value components of your color


This slider changes the size of your drawing tool. You can also change size by scrolling the mouse wheel (on supported OSes) or using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard.


This slider changes the alpha-value (transperency) of your drawing tool. Note that it is not used by all tools. You can also change the alpha-value using the right and left arrow keys on your keyboard.


This slider changes the amount of blur (softness) used in your drawing tool. Note that it is not used by all tools. You can also change the blur amount using the Home and End keys on your keyboard.


This slider will zoom the canvas from 100% (all the way zoomed out) to 1000%. You can also zoom in and out by holding the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and scrolling the mouse wheel (on supported OSes) or by pressing the "+" and "-" keys on your keyboard.

To move around within the zoomed canvas, hold down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and click and drag within the drawing area.

Other Controls

Color Selector

The box with the color gradient to the right of the main controls can be clicked to select a color. The color you select will show in the smaller box just to the left of the gradient. This color preview box will also show any changes you make to the color using the RGB or HSV sliders.


This drop-down selector allows you to choose a blending mode used to apply your brushstrokes to the canvas. This affects how the already existing color and your chosen color are blended when you use a tool. For instance, use the Darken setting with a light color if you want to color in white areas but not color over lines that are already in place. Note that the mode setting is not used by all tools.

Saved Brushes

The ten slots labeled "0" through "9" in the controls area can be used to save and quickly recall brush settings that you use often. To save a brush, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click one of the slots or press the corresponding number key. To recall a saved brush, just click or press one of the numbers without holding Shift.

The saved brush slots will save your brush color, size, alpha, blur, and mode. If you are a registered user, your saved brushes will be remembered on the server for the next time you log in. The brush you save in slot "1" will be automatically selected when you first join a room after opening /f/lockdraw.

Version Number

The version number you are currently using is always shown in the far lower left corner of the /f/lockdraw window. Sometimes there are minor releases between versions also, which are shown as "Version XX Release YY". You must have the most up-to-date major version to connect and use /f/lockdraw, but any minor version after it will be able to be used simultaneously. Typically the version number changes only when the server is upgraded with new features that would make older versions not work correctly.

If you have an old version saved on your computer and can't connect, go to Skycow.US to get the latest version.

User List

The user list

The upper-right portion of the /f/lockdraw window shows a list of users in the room you are currently connected to. If you right-click on a particular user, you will see a popup menu of options related to that user. You can send the user a PM (private message) in chat, or synchronize your board with them (meaning you see what they see, just in case people get out of sync). If you are a room mod, you can also use this menu to mute and unmute users (so that they cannot draw) or kick them out of the room. Global moderators also have expanded options in this menu.

Just above the userlist is a text indicator that shows your username as it will appear to others in the room, and your status (in square brackets) below it. The status line might for instance be "Unregistered", "Registered", or "Room Mod".


Users in a /f/lockdraw room can be "muted", which prevents them from drawing anything on the canvas but still allows them to use the chat box. If a user is muted, the label "(M)" will appear before their name. If you are muted, you will see the "(M)" under "Your Name" in the upper right.

/f/lockdraw rooms can also be muted. This means that any non-mod users who join the room will start out muted by default, and will have to ask in chat for one of the mods to unmute them. Muted rooms will show up as "Muted: Yes" in the room selection dialog when you click on them, and when you join them you will see "(M)" before the room name in the top bar.


The chat box

The lower-right portion of the /f/lockdraw window contains a chat box which can be used to send text chats to all users currently drawing in the room. To chat, click in the text box in the lower portion of the chat area (or press F9) and type your message. When you are finished typing, press the Enter key to send it.

You will see your chats as well as those sent by others in the larger box along with a timestamp for each message. You can also send a PM (private message) to a particular user by typing /pm (username) before your message, replacing (username) with the name of the person you want to PM. Note that /f/lockdraw usernames are case-sensitive, so you must use the same capitalization when typing a username. A shortcut to send PMs more quickly is to right click a user in the user list and click "Send PM". This will automatically type "/pm (username) " in the chat input and place the cursor at the end so you can begin typing your message.

Top Bar

The top of the /f/lockdraw window shows you the name of the room you are in (if any) in a text label. The "Change room" button can be used to exit a room and return to the room selection dialog. The "Save it!" button will save the current contents of the drawing area to a .png file on your computer. If you are a room mod or global mod, you will also see a "Load it!" button in this area, which will let you load a previously saved image to work on. You can import images saved from other programs as well, but they must be 800x480 PNGs to work correctly.

The arrow pointing to the upper-right corner of your screen at the right side of the top bar will switch the flash to full screen mode. Note that because of restrictions in flash you will not be able to use any keyboard functions (typing in chat, hotkeys, etc) when in full screen mode. If you save the flash to your computer and run it in Standalone Flash, you can use full-screen normally.